The U.S. District Court ordered Apple to break security protections on an IPhone linked to the San Bernardino attacks. “The legal precedent is serious, but building the software could be even more dangerous.”
Tim Cook has described the tool as “too dangerous to create,” potentially undoing years of security work that protects nearly a billion phones.
So how dangerous is this firmware update really?
The lock screen is one of the biggest protections against IPhone hackers and because of this threat, the FBI’s proposed system has a number of safeguards. Apple has to sign any automatic firmware updates before a given IPhone will accept them, and the FBI’s proposed update would be coded to an individual phone.
This proposed method is also specific to the 5c, which lacks the Secure Enclave chip that ties lockscreen protections to hardware in more recent IPhones. “Still, it’s likely that if the FBI is successful, the bureau will request similar methods of cracking Enclave-equipped phones.”